Adam Yauch Biography

(Founding Member of the Hip Hop Group ‘Beastie Boys’)

Birthday: August 5, 1964 (Leo)

Born In: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Adam Yauch was an American rapper, bass player, independent filmmaker and the founder member of the band ‘Beastie Boys’. He sang and shot music videos for their chart-topping albums that sold million copies, as well as fought for the Tibetan Independence Movement. Believed to be ‘one of the wisest people’, singer Sheryl Crow has known, he was a talented person who constantly evaluated his path and progress. He even had the courage to stop and change track when he felt it was not the right direction to go. Sadly, he succumbed to cancer at the age of 47; however, working, making music, and staying in a positive hopeful frame of mind till his last days are how his friends and family remembers him. According to Matthew Allison, an old friend, ‘evolved’ is one word that perfectly describes Adam Yauch, as he journeyed from a beer guzzling, pothead, pioneer white rapper, to the Buddhist, vocally feminist, vegan empath sporting a cowboy hat, during his later years. Adam showed that having a voice which reaches millions can be used in a wonderful way to make a difference and leave a legacy that will be remembered forever.
Quick Facts

Nick Name: MC Adam, MCA, Nathanial Hörnblowér, Bloach, Abednego

Also Known As: Adam Nathaniel Yauch

Died At Age: 47


Spouse/Ex-: Dechen Wangdu

father: Noel Yauch

mother: Frances Yauch

children: Losel Yauch

Born Country: United States

Died Young Jewish Singers

Died on: May 4, 2012

place of death: Manhattan, New York, United States

Ancestry: German American

City: Brooklyn, New York City

Cause of Death: Cancer

U.S. State: New Yorkers

Founder/Co-Founder: Grand Royal

More Facts

education: Bard College

Childhood & Early Life
Adam Nathaniel Yauch was born on the 5 August 1964, to Noel and Frances Yauch, in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Noel, was Catholic and worked as an architect, while his mother, Frances, was Jewish and worked with the New York Education Board.
Adam did not have any siblings and was brought up in a non-religious household. He was a mischievous kid who would booby-trap his own home with his friends and wreak havoc.
He studied at the Brooklyn Friends School till the age of 14, after which he shifted to the Edward R. Murrow, in Midwood, Brooklyn. However, his punk-rock image was bullied and he eventually moved to a smaller Manhattan experimental school to finish his formal education.
Adam joined Bard College and studied there for two years, but his actual curriculum was hardcore punk music and electric bass. He dropped out in two years to make music.
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Adam Yauch (MCA) joined the band Young Aborigines as their bass player, after their founding bass member, Jeremy Shatan, left in the year 1981 and renamed it to ‘Beastie Boys’. The hardcore punk group also had Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) on guitar, Michael Diamond (Mike D) on vocals, and Kate Schellenbach on drums.
In 1983, when ‘Cooky Puss’, their experimental single, became popular with New York underground clubs, the band adapted hip-hop as their core genre and was left with three members – MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D.
They opened for Madonna on ‘The Virgin Tour’ and John Lydon’s band ‘Public Image Ltd’ in 1985. They also performed with Whodini, Timex Social Club, Run-DMC and LL Cool J on the ‘Raising Hell’ tour and the exposure helped Beastie Boys get on the Billboard charts.
Their debut album ‘Licensed to Ill’ with Defence Jam Recordings and Columbia Records) topped the Billboard 200 charts in 1986 and sold over 9 million copies. It reached the 2nd position on the Top R&B chart. The song ‘Fight for Your Right’ peaked at 7th position on the Hot 100, while another single from the album ‘No Sleep till Brooklyn’ reached #14 on the UK Singles.
The band moved to Capitol records in 1988 and released their 2nd album ‘Paul’s Boutique’ in 1989. Although the singles made it to the charts, it did not receive the phenomenal response their first album had received.
The band released their third album ‘Check Your Head’ in 1992 and their fourth album ‘Ill Communication’ in 1994.
Adam created the Milarepa Fund in 1994 to lend his support towards the Tibetan Independence Movement and started the Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1996.
Following this, they released their fifth album ‘Hello Nasty’ which had one of their most popular singles ‘Intergalactic’ in 1998.
Winning multiple MTV Video Music Awards for their songs and 3 Grammys during their time, Beastie Boys in 1999, became the first band to win a Grammy in both alternative as well as rap category.
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Adam Yauch built the Oscilloscope Laboratories studio in 2002, and made an independent film making and distributing company along with his venture partner David Fenkel. The Beastie Boys worked on their self-produced album ‘To the 5 Boroughs’ at the Oscilloscope Laboratories studio and released it in 2004.
Adam had adapted the pseudonym of Nathaniel Hornblower to direct many music videos for the Beastie Boys and in 2006 directed ‘Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!’, their concert film.
Their all instrumental post-punk album ‘The Mix-Up’ released in 2007 and won a Grammy even though it was their lowest charting record.
Adam Yauch was diagnosed with parotid cancer in 2009, which slowed down the band’s travelling and led them to cancel concerts. The Beastie Boys released their last album ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two’ in 2011 and disbanded following Adam Yauch’s death in 2012.
Major Works
After a hiking trip across Nepal, Adam Yauch returned home heavily moved by the strife of the Tibetan people, who were suffering abuses at the hands of the Chinese government. In order to raise awareness about their human rights violation, he created the Milarepa Fund in 1994 and arranged the Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1996 along with Erin Potts, an activist. This concert garnered such popularity that it became an annual international event with musicians like U2, Mike Mills, Live, Rage Against the Machine, Michael Stipe and The Smashing Pumpkins performing in the concert.
Awards & Achievements
Adam Yauch’s music and hard work earned Beastie Boys place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, making them one amongst three rap groups to have found place in the prestigious line-up.
On the 3rd of May 2013, Brooklyn’s ‘Palmetto Playground’ was ceremoniously renamed as ‘Adam Yauch Park’ in honor of his memory.
Family & Personal Life
Adam Yauch had taken a trip to Nepal in 1989, where he developed a keen interest towards the strife of the Tibetans, and he started studying about Tibetan Buddhism from the year 1992. He became a Buddhist around 1996 and had met his wife Dechen Wangdu, a Tibetan American, while he was attending Dalai Lama’s speech at the Harvard University in 1995.
The couple got married on 31st of May 1998 and had their daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch on the 30th of September 1998.
Adam was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph node and parotid gland in 2009, following which he underwent radiation treatment and surgery. However, unfortunately after fighting for almost two years, he succumbed to the disease and died on 4 May 2012, at the age of 47.


Grammy Awards
2008 Best Pop Instrumental Album Winner
1999 Best Alternative Music Performance Winner
1999 Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Winner
MTV Video Music Awards
2011 Best Direction Beastie Boys: Make Some Noise (2011)

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